President Bush has ordered the United States to join its European allies in a drive to phase out chlorofluorocarbons, chemicals linked to depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer, if safe alternatives are available, the White House announced today.
White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater said Bush had notified Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William K. Reilly of his support Thursday after Reilly presented a proposal for the phase-out.
"The President is in support of totally eliminating CFCs by the year 2000 providing that safe substitutes are available," Fitzwater told reporters.
Bush supported the concept on the campaign trail, and decided this week to support a timetable for elimination by 2000. Reilly will present the U.S. position at the Conference on Saving the Ozone Layer to be held in London this weekend, Fitzwater said. But at the same time, Fitzwater noted there are no current alternatives available, despite massive research efforts by private companies.